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  • Writer's pictureJae

How Invigilo makes high-risk environments safer for workers

Singaporeans have begun paying a closer look to the migrant worker situation in Singapore after the Covid-19 situation. The topic of the safety of foreign workers in Singapore has become more talked about than ever before.

Enter Invigilo -- a state of the art video analytics platform to analyse and process video footage from high-risk workplaces to identify potential safety hazards and production delays.

Invigilo was founded by Vishnu in 2019, with the ultimate aim to ensure the safety of workers all over the world.

A necessary benchmark for safety

According to Vishnu, Singapore’s construction industry alone saw about 20 deaths in 2019. On top of that, there were over thousands of major accidents.

The emotional, physical and financial costs due to these mishaps are astronomical.

Thus, Invigilo aims to the platform’s computer vision and artificial intelligence capabilities to prevent such mishaps from happening, and eventually become the benchmark for safety in these high-risk environments.

It all began when Vishnu had the opportunity to participate in a Design Thinking competition organised by ETH Zurich. The engineering graduate quit his then full-time job in a venture capital firm to fly to Switzerland to participate in the competition.

For the competition, he travelled to Switzerland for trainings and workshops, before spending four days in a glass cube working on a startup idea.

Coincidentally, the theme of the competition was ‘Smart Construction Sites’, and Vishnu had been helping out two friends who were working on smart helmets for construction sites.

During the competition, he came up with the idea for Invigilo and pitched it together with his team, eventually bagging the grand prize.

He then went on to work on Invigilo with his two friends, who made up the first core team of the company.

Even though the company was founded just last year, Vishnu has actually had an entrepreneurship streak since 15.

The 27-year-old shared that his first brush with entrepreneurship was a case competition in secondary school, where he managed to make it to the Southeast Asian regional finals.

I thought it was so interesting that we could make our own product through ideation and validation. I liked being able to sell something I created with my team -- something that solves a big problem in society.

From then on, he had his mind set on becoming an entrepreneur.

Even though the two original co-founders that started the company with Vishnu have since left, he now has a team of seven dedicated individuals. When asked what some of his biggest successes are, Vishnu shared that he is happy to have a team that share the same mission and vision as him, and choose to be as committed as he is.

A Covid-19 Solution

During the Circuit Breaker in Singapore, the entire construction industry came to a standstill. Hence, the Invigilo team had to quickly pivot. They then decided to come up with a product to tackle the pandemic.

Hence, they developed a software that helps to detect if people are wearing their masks and maintaining social distancing. As a pilot, it was deployed to a dormitory in Singapore. However, since then, the team is working with an Indonesia client to implement the solution in various warehouses and factories.

The startup is also part of the Graduate Research Innovation Programme (GRIP) at the National University of Singapore, where they will work on developing their core safety product.

Growth, adaptability, and a whole lot of luck

Besides building a product that will be of use to customers, personal growth and development is also extremely important to Vishnu.

I think everyone should occasionally check in with themselves and see how they are growing. The startup might fail but it's still considered a success if you come out a more mature person from the journey.

He also believes that there is no “correct way” to build a startup, and thus one has to be extremely adept at solving whatever problems that come their way, or being a “good firefighter”, as he puts it.

Luck is another critical part of the startup journey. However, Vishnu shared that there are ways to become more lucky. These ways include putting yourself out there, constantly networking, and opening up.

Meet as many people as you can, but being humble is important as well. Always go there thinking you can learn from whoever you meet.

Luck is another critical part of the startup journey. However, Vishnu shared that there are ways to become more lucky. These ways include putting yourself out there, constantly networking, and opening up.

At the end of the day, a startup is successful to Vishnu if it has managed to create a product that manages to satisfy clients.


Refuel was founded to inspire aspiring entrepreneurs through the stories of startup founders. We aim to build a global community of entrepreneurs and innovators, and hustle on together.

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